#76 Aunt Sally: Aunt Sally

Before we criticise the gross and indefensible spectacle of the 2022 World Cup – where perhaps billions of people around the world tune in to watch a spectacle so polluted by decaying capitalism that hundreds or perhaps thousands of ill treated migrant workers have forcibly sacrificed their lives in order just to provide us global ruling classes our shits and giggles – let’s at least compare the quality of competitive entertainment to what it was a few hundred years ago. The game Aunt Sally dates back to 17th century and was played at fairgrounds in pub gardens across the middle English counties. It involves participants throwing sticks or battens at a ‘doll’ placed upon a pole. Traditionally, that doll is an old woman named ‘Aunt Sally. It has also been suggested that the doll eventually got its name ‘Aunt Sally’ because it was at one point meant to be in blackface and inspired by the character (sigh) Black Sal in the 1821 novel ‘Life in London‘. So, essentially, it was a game where drunk middle Englanders would throw things at an old black woman. But don’t despair at missing out on such good old fashioned competitive hate crimes – the The World Aunt Sally Open Singles Championships takes place every year in Oxfordshire. The first event in 2011 was attended by David fucking Cameron, because of course it was.

“Take this, you little pickaninny…”

An ‘Aunt Sally’ is also what you’d call an easily disprovable fallacy, so maybe I’ve been really clever and nothing I said in the previous paragraph is true and wouldn’t stand up to even the briefest of research. However, I know I’m safe, as none of you fat lazy slobs can ever be arsed to extend even the most minute of effort. It’s also the name of a 1938 film English film, which given those two pieces of information is also likely to be extremely racist. What I’m saying is: it’s not easy to Google the extraordinary 1970s Japanese punk band Aunt Sally.

That Aunt Sally rereleased their 1979 debut album in 2021, and provided more evidence for my reasoning to fucking hate punk music.

BAIT AND SWITCH?? ONLY ONE WAY TO FIND OUT!

OFFICIAL 2022 BLACKLIST: List of Artists That Officially Deserve No Respect [IMPORTANT]

In a lot of way, it’s not your fault that you like shit stuff. A lot of the shit stuff you like you had no control over. Maybe the culture you were raised within normalised such abhorrence. Perhaps you just had really stupid friends growing up who liked really stupid things. I’m not going to blame you for that. You rarely get much choice who your friends are, they’re often just there because of some past and continued convenience. Maybe your friends from school are now registered sex offenders, maybe they’re big Fast and Furious fans, but either way it’s not your fault. Your parents could have maybe brought up in an environment where liking such absolute shite isn’t something to ashamed of. Is it your parents’ fault?? Am I saying that they’ve somehow failed at child rearing because of your shitty tastes??

Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying. But it’s not your fault. Please don’t take any of this post as me mocking your artistic choices. You can’t help it, you’re just wired that way, and me making fun of it would be like you making fun of my cauda equina. Like, dude, come on, I can’t help it. Cryemojicryemojicryemoji. You know how it goes.

You might have seen this repugnant rabble advertised recently:

Continue reading “OFFICIAL 2022 BLACKLIST: List of Artists That Officially Deserve No Respect [IMPORTANT]”

Love Their Mess and Adore Their Failures: Manic Street Preachers’ 100 Greatest Songs

Right, holy shit, so am I actually doing this…?

“Repeat after me…”

The Manic Street Preachers are the greatest rock band ever. That’s not an opinion, it’s a conclusion that I’ve reached and am now saying it loudly and not listening to any dissenting voices, which in 2021 counts as a ‘fact’.

Their greatness is… complicated… and not easy to explain in a simple intro to a blog post… These 100 tracks aren’t necessarily the greatest songs ever. Even as a pathetically dedicated Manics stan*, even I would argue that they’ve only ever released one indisputable, stone cold classic record from front to back (see if you can guess which one after you read the list!). They may have supernatural control over melodies and how best to ensure a chorus hits just there, but at the end of the day they’re just a rock band. They have never really challenged the very boundaries of music, never pushed things forward or necessarily introduced anything new sonically. I would argue that only one of their albums is truly challenging and experimental, rather than just being a break from what the band usually produce (yeah, it’s the same album…). I mean, Jesus, they once shamelessly released a song including the lyric “The world is full of refugees/They’re just like you and just like me“. That’s unforgivably bad, isn’t it? They can’t come back from that, artistically.

“You stand there and you think about what you’ve done”

(*I may occasionally use cool, groovy, young person lingo like ‘stan’ so you think I’m a hip young gunslinger. Not, y’know, old enough to be a Manics fan)

I’m not able to explain their magic here, but over the next one hundred (!) entries you’ll hopefully all have a better idea. It’s not as dominated by the 90’s as I was worried it might be, and every album is represented (apart from one. Because their tenth album is worse than Hitler). I’ve been wanting to find the time to do this for ages, partially inspired by the great What is Music podcast covering their entire discography and reminding me of how many big veiny stonkers this band had bulging out of their collective musical swimming trunks. They’re talking about Muse on that podcast now, a band for morons, so you only need to listen to the last season. My major blind spot is I don’t think they’ve done a decent b-side since 2001. Now, I’m sure I’m wrong, so please correct my ignorance in the comments. Tell me how wrong I am. Post your top tens. Your top hundreds. The Manic Street Preachers’ fan community is one of the greatest in the world, and no other band are as connected with their fanbase and feed off their adoration as much as The Manics. So let’s celebrate that by calling me a fat slut in the comments because I didn’t choose Little Baby Nothing.

If you don’t have time for such nonsense, here’s the Spotify playlist and here’s all the songs in order on YouTube.

And, er, you might wanna bookmark this page – motherfucker’s gonna be long. Your next 500 trips to the toilet are sorted.

Continue reading “Love Their Mess and Adore Their Failures: Manic Street Preachers’ 100 Greatest Songs”

2 Lorde: Melodrama

She is Lorde, Ya-ya-ya

(get that out of the way, that’s your lot)

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Yep, neither Lorde nor Kendrick Lamar is my number one album: who could it possibly be?!

Have a think about it…

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Yeah, it’s that one.

Maybe you haven’t heard Lorde’s Stone Cold Masterpiece of a second album, because you’re a fucking idiot, but you know what it’s about don’t you?

I mean, her 2013 debut was written when she was only 14 years old

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and showed a prodigious level of writing ability that arbalested her to worldwide attention. It was a far better written (and plain better) debut album than the Arctic Monkeys’ was in 2006, and back when that was released there were some people unconvinced whether lyrics so good could have been written by someone in their late teens, and conspiracy theories abounded. There was no such debate over the much younger Lorde, because she was (and, brace yourself, still is) female, and so all of her art will always be undervalued, and people will just assume that a more naturally talented man was actually responsible for writing the songs, and Lorde just added bits about makeup and Kim Kardashian to get the writing credit.

(Hmmm, if you haven’t seen ‘The Trip‘, that Michael Caine picture might look a bit like I’m accusing him of something rather uncomfortable. Mind you, this is a guy who said he legally changed his name to Michael Caine because of ISIS, so I don’t really care)

Continue reading “2 Lorde: Melodrama”

4 alt-J: Relaxer

Album of the Rising Interest

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Are you an ‘early adopter’?

By which I mean: when you adopt children, do you tend to do so when they’re younger? I would definitely recommend doing so: of the seven children I’ve ‘adopted’* the ones that were easier to deal with were the babies. I mean, seriously, those little things never ask for anything! Although I suppose, slightly ironically, if they could talk they might be able to let me know where they’ve disappeared to: I’ve not seen most of them since Christmas! I’m sure they’re fine though: Gradius is probably with them, he can walk and has probably learned English by now, so I’m not too concerned.

There’s also the secondary meaning of ‘early adopter’, meaning that you’re always into art, culture, gadgets and trends first. You had an iPhone before they were even invented; you were throwing pennies at Ed Sheeran as he was busking on the streets of Framlingham, hating him with a passion way before it was cool; you practically invented ‘Fortnite’, and could easily make a smart joke here because you’re 100% sure what ‘Fortnite’ is; you have a Smart fridge, a Smart Toaster, a Smart Toilet and a Smart Colander. If it’s ever happened, if it’s happening, or if it’s going to happen: you’re there first. Being first is the best, isn’t it??

(Ed Sheeran was really born and raised in a place called fucking Framlingham?? He’s the biggest pop star in the world: how have we let this happen?)

Continue reading “4 alt-J: Relaxer”